Replacing Ribs dispite Cement Bilge's....

by Nick

Hello All!

I have a predicament, I'm repairing some broken ribs in my recently purchased 1940's Pitch pine on oak gaff cutter, long keel yacht.

She's about 24ft long.

However I've hit a little snag, the previous owner has filled the bilge with ferro-cement.

While replacing the ribs isn't a massive issue, getting through the cement to fit the ribs to the keel could be.

Do you have any recommendations with regards to removing the cement, how much damage that will cause to the keel, working around the cement or any other methods or ideas you might have on this subject.

Literally everything and anything you can suggest will be welcome!


Comments for Replacing Ribs dispite Cement Bilge's....

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Cement in bilges
by: Eddie

Cement is common in many commercial/industrial wooden hulls.

It doesn't degrade timber in seawater.

In a small boat one might be a bit suspicious.

Anyway, get a small electric jack-hammer and A GOOD PAIR of ear muffs and go for it.

The job will stop you getting bored during those long winter nights, then you will really know what sort of boat you have.

Happy landfalls

Cement in the Bilges
by: Mike

Hi Nick,

I think you need to ask yourself why the cement was used in the first place.

Was it simply to add ballast or were there other problems that adding cement was hoped to stabilize?

As ballast, cement is not very efficient, for the same weight in lead or cast iron you need much, much less volume.

And what is happening to the wood underneath the cement, and if it is ‘ferro’-cement the reinforcing could now be rusting.

Personally I would want to know what was happening to the wood underneath and find out if there were any structural problems that the cement was supposed to correct.

How deep is the cement, is your bilge the classic wine glass shape or shallower?

And does the cement cover the floors, keel bolts etc?

I don’t know but suspect that getting it out is going to be a slow dirty hammer and chisel job.

I guess it will depend on how it was originally poured in.

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